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How do you 'fill' your 40-hour workweek
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benjpedro



Joined: 03 Jun 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: How do you 'fill' your 40-hour workweek Reply with quote

Dear wonderful expats of the kingdom,

Offered to teach in a school which, as far as I know, has 140 students. And the subject I teach only involves 12 hours contact teaching....The contract describes a 40 hour work week...what am I required to do for the other 28 hours?? Can I pop into the local cafe for some hubbly bubbly?

Yes, I'm being entirely serious..

many thanks,
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3602
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you 'fill' your 40-hour workweek Reply with quote

benjpedro wrote:
Offered to teach in a school which, as far as I know, has 140 students. And the subject I teach only involves 12 hours contact teaching....The contract describes a 40 hour work week...what am I required to do for the other 28 hours?? Can I pop into the local cafe for some hubbly bubbly?

You don't say what you're teaching (engineering or EFL), but generally, you'll fill up some of that extra time by marking papers and exams, creating lessons and materials, attending meetings, participating on some committee, preparing reports, etc. Can't say if you'll have time to slip away for some daily R&R; some employers require teachers be onsite for the full 40 hours, while others are more laxed. Short answer: It depends on what your teaching-related responsibilities are and how flexible your employer is. You can certainly clarify this with the school.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15863
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surfing the net... drinking coffee or tea... perfecting sleeping with your eyes open (also good for meetings)... pretending to look busy.

I'm entirely serious too.

At one employer we used to sneak out the back gate and head over to a coffee place nearby. The English supervisor knew where to find us if he needed one of us. (and we often found him there. Cool)

Honestly... much depends on your employer. The definitive answer would have to come from teachers who are already there.

VS
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 346
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typically, I walked from my car at 7am to the classroom, prepped in there as there were less distractions than the open plan office, taught my 4-5 hours, returned to my car and went home.

Of course, this schedule was occasionally interrupted with meetings, PD sessions and other superfluous nonsense.

Management never got on to me about this because of two important factors:
A) the students rarely complained
B) they scored well on system wide assessments

Where I worked management was not strict about time keeping.

It all depends on where you are.
[/list]
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benjpedro



Joined: 03 Jun 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

many thanks guys.

i'll be teaching one basic engineering subject.

i'm ok with staying in campus as long as i have uncensored internet (newspapers, facebook, twitter)

i've never ever punched for time since i've been in a university setting for so long so it would be quite an adjustment for me..

i consciously put in the correct time required for work but as we are used to in europe, you go in and out (coffee, stroll) and make the hours (early mornings or late nights)...sitting put in one place counting down the hours would be a change indeed.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 346
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forget about uncensored!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15863
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there are very many employers in the Gulf... and in the UAE... where they will be watching your arrival and departure and WILL require that you be there. While one might be able to walk a block for a cuppa now and then, you will be expected to be there from about 7:00 to some time. At HCT back in my day, it was 2:30. (it was quite an adjustment for me because this was before internet and there was NOTHING to do... or rather nothing that could be done in the cacophony of large teachers' rooms full of teachers and ringing phones)

It is the current teachers that can fill you in on your ability to ignore what might be a rule wherever you are working.

VS
(and yes... the only uncensored internet in the Gulf is at your flat using a VPN)
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 1182

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the Sharjah HCTs, you are expected to be on campus 8 hours/day. The supervisor may or may not monitor you, but certainly there are those amongst your colleagues who will.

I sat next to a lady who was late arriving one day, as soon as she sat down, her phone rang and it was her supervisor asking why she was late. The supervisor had an office in another building at the opposite end of campus not in site of the gate or the parking lot.

The EFL faculty is particularly observed, content supervisors not quite so anal.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15863
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helenl wrote:
The EFL faculty is particularly observed, content supervisors not quite so anal.

Laughing Laughing

Perhaps because they don't have so many "spies"?

VS
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Gus Barkley



Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helenl - given that my first offer was Sharjah HCT you make me so happy I landed UAEU!
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benjpedro



Joined: 03 Jun 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh dear.

i guess my follow up question is where can i buy magazines (british or american ones?) and i don't mean time or newsweek but those niche stuff that we take for granted so we can while away the time....
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timteach



Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are not planning to renew your contract, what would management do if you don't "work" the full 40 hrs?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3602
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timteach wrote:
If you are not planning to renew your contract, what would management do if you don't "work" the full 40 hrs?

Uh, possibly give you a poor reference if they view you as a slacker.
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helenl



Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 1182

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They can do what any employer can do, terminate you. You are not fulfilling the terms of the contract - out you go, having to repay any allowances granted, no reference, no end of service gratuity, and possibly no notice - and no, there is no graduated system of discipline to "warn" you you may be fired. You may find your visa is terminated and you are on the next plane out, literally.

Especially if they have anything else to use against you, complaints from students, etc.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3602
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timteach: Seriously, the only place that might keep you on is one that's extremely desperate for teachers. Otherwise, Helen is right---you'd get the boot (and a lousy reference, if one at all).

I find your question about not putting in a full 40-hour work week odd. I assume you're asking because you consider the UAE a playground. In other words, your interest in the Emirates is more about having fun leisure time than teaching.
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